Monday, December 29, 2008

Old family photo: snowman in Reno

Cocker Spaniel
Lady, my first dog

Toddler: me

Shadow: Mama, the photographer

Snowmen fade away, as do pets, people, shadows . . . and years. But they leave traces, if only in memories. May we go forward into the new year committed to leaving far fewer traces of us on the Earth and more traces of our kindness in others' memories.

For me, the traces of this year will include wonderful memories of the creativity and kindness that so many of you have shared through your blogs and comments here. This humble snowman from the past is for you.

The Trouble with Snowmen

'The trouble with snowmen,'
Said my father one year
'They are no sooner made
than they just disappear.

I'll build you a snowman
And I'll build it to last
Add sand and cement
And then have it cast.

And so every winter,'
He went on to explain
'You shall have a snowman
Be it sunshine or rain.'

And that snowman still stands
Though my father is gone
Out there in the garden
Like an unmarked gravestone.

Staring up at the house
Gross and misshapen
As if waiting for something
Bad to happen.

For as the years pass
And I grow older
When summers seem short
And winters colder.

The snowmen I envy
As I watch children play
Are the ones that are made
And then fade away.

-Roger McGough



fluxlife said...

that picture of you as a toddler is really cute! thank you for your sweet wishes and dedication to myself and others who have become part of your blogsphere.

love that poem by Roger McGough. it's endearing to a point, and then it causes me to awaken to the fact of impermanence. without impermanence life cannot go on. i used to think it was the other way around. but if things don't fade away, room cannot be made for new life.

have a happy new year!, and thank you too for your comments and your wonderful blog!

-steve @ fluxlife

distracted by shiny objects said...

Remember how we could barely move in those snowsuits??:>)

Kim said...

That picture is a classic! And the poem is fantastic. Great post!

Lydia said...

Your comments are so kind and refreshing! Thanks much.
Seems like Roger McGough wrote a poem that gently nudges reflections like yours. I bet he'd love your thoughts on his poem. I wonder who he is; maybe I'll Google his name!

Yes! I do! I saw three early astronauts interviewed on the news last week. Their spacesuits shown in shots of their 1968 flight look eerily familiar.....

Thank you......I think the photo would have an entirely different feel to it if it had been one of those awful 1950s colorized shots. I really like that poem too.

~ Tabitha ~ said...

Thank you for such a touch post's writers like you that keep blogging a unique community and posts like these so special to read!

Wishing you all the best for the new year!

francessa said...

Lovely photo! Reminds me of the snowmen I used to build. You see, I'm catching up with your posts! Still, way to go ..:-)

Happy New Year to you and all your followers!

Lydia said...

What a lovely thing for you to tell me! Thank you so much. Happy New Years Day and a great year ahead.

Feeling better? I sure hope so. Thanks for your New Year wishes and they are returned most enthusiastically, HS (you know what that stands for!)... :)

Jennifer said...

I love the photograph! And I think my mother had a cocker spaniel named Lady as one of her many childhood pets. I've heard more about the pets than about the snowmen. :)

Lydia said...

Funny story: my folks got Lady before I was born (soon after I came old dad was out of the picture). They had a photo Christmas card made out of a shot of Lady in the snow and the caption said, "Our Lady and we wish you a Merry Christmas." Someone who received it called my grandmother in California to ask when my mother had converted to Catholicism! (she hadn't...)



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